Britain: Assad Still Using Chemical Weapons Against Syrians
Julian Brazier, British Under-Secretary of State for Defense Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, said that the Assad regime must stop using chemical weapons that it continues to use against Syrians. He stresses that the Assad regime still has chemical weapons although in 2013 it agreed to get rid of its stockpiles of chemical weapons. Last year, UN teams announced they completed the destruction of Syria’s declared chemical weapons cache.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday accused al-Assad's government of using apparent toxic chemicals in several barrel bomb attacks in the north-western Idlib province in April and May . The New York-based watchdog interviewed local doctors and first aid responders to the sites of three attacks and analyzed photographs and videos of weapon remnants.
"Toxic chemicals are raining down on civilians in Syria," said Philippe Bolopion, the UN and crisis advocacy director at HRW. "The [United Nations] Security Council should firmly establish responsibility and impose sanctions for these attacks, which defy its resolution and violate international law."
Bolopion calls for referring the case to the International Criminal Court through a UN Security Council resolution, noting that France has pushed in this direction but the move was blocked by Russia and China.
Spokesman for the Syrian Coalition Salem al-Meslet calls for holding an urgent UN Security Council meeting to enforce the UN Resolution 2118 under Chapter VII and for the referral of war criminals to the International Criminal Court.
“The international community and members of the UN Security Council bear full responsibility of the catastrophic situation in Syria as they have so far failed to end the ongoing tragedy in Syria or to hold war criminals and perpetrators of genocidal crimes to account,” Meslet said.
“The UN Security Council has also failed to enforce the resolutions 2118 of 2013 concerning the use of chemical weapons, and paragraph 21 of the same resolution, which provides for the imposition of measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in the case of non-compliance with this resolution, including the unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons and the use of chemical weapons in Syria." (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)